"if you don't want to think get out"

Due to the corona situation the lecture series takes place this summer semester in "actio per distans" * and only for students.

Please register at sekretariat@awb.tu-berlin.de and you will get invited to the appointments via Webex.

Thinking beyond the constraints of clarity and simplicity
In accordance with the motto “If you don’t want to think get out”, in the summer semester 2019 a multidisciplinary lecture series of the Technische Universität, Humboldt-Universität and Berlin University of the Arts will set out in search of “thought models” and the skills at the root of critical and productive thinking.

Themes and content

Single elimination systems make decisions according to the principle of “winner takes all”. The principle of digitality, deciding between the states of 1 or 0 and only permitting one of these – if 0 then not 1 and the other way around – generates an enormous diversity of data and new possibilities for artificial intelligence and data processing. Yet in terms of human thinking it has the opposite effect. In search of clarity and identity and often under the pretence of greater efficiency, black and white thinking is favoured over a wide range of possible meanings.

And yet in our thinking we are subject to ever increasing complexity (more possibilities than we are able to consider) and greater contingency (things and situations that can always develop in an unexpected manner). The trend towards potential spaces, hybrid platforms, inter- or (more accurately) transdisciplinarity, contextualization in both a backwards and forwards direction, portfolios of experiments and omnipresent labs as thinking sites of the new are the first attempts to comprehend and practically leverage this complexity above and beyond clarity and simplicity.

How can we master the balancing act between complexity and the ability to take action?

Beyond the allures of a purportedly economical black-and-white manner of thinking and artificially intelligent, digital solutions to big data problems, from our point of view critical and productive thinking has great advantages. Our teaching and learning experience shows that the ability to generate knowledge and process information – that is to evaluate information, classify it in the correct contexts, attain insights and then derive new information from it – is more urgently necessary than ever.

Learning objectives
With the overriding concept of “thought models” we want to render explicit and more tangible what we otherwise only know and think implicitly. The seminars planned as part of the lecture series are intended to encourage participants to take a critical look at the content of their thoughts, their manners of thinking and themselves. They will also challenge students not only to master the use of existing models of thought but also to creatively adapt them.

For each of the planned seminars a critical and productively thinking individual from the realm of science, the economy, politics or culture will be invited to reflect together with students and guests on our thought models. Focus will be placed not so much on WHAT or the content of our thoughts as on HOW we think and critically and productively approach the content that is generated. In accordance with the instructors’ specific subjects and preferences, the seminars will be held in different formats, ranging from lectures to panel discussions. The individual events will, with the instructors’ consent, be filmed and made available to the public.